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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Preseason Summit League all-conference team

I no longer get a preseason vote for the Summit League all-conference team. That honor goes to The Oakland Press' new Oakland beat writer Paul Kampe. (I am now the paper's Pistons beat writer for those that care). But this is the how I would vote for the all-league team. I will have my predicted order of finish for the league later in the week.

1. Johnathon Jones, (Sr.) Oakland —
Jones is everything you want in a point guard. He distributes, he can score, he defends and he’s a leader on the court. Who Oakland’s most talented player is up for debate, but Jones is the Grizzlies most important player. Jones led the nation in assists per game (8.1) and averaged 12.9 points per game last season.
2. Keith Benson, (Jr.) Oakland — Benson improved by leaps and bounds last season, and established himself as the dominant big man in the Summit League. Benson has the potential to garner national attention and will get his chance with Oakland’s brutal non-conference schedule. Benson was second in the league in rebounding (8.3 per game), first in blocks (3.2) and eighth in scoring (16.6) last season.
3. Garrett Callahan, (Sr.) South Dakota State — Callahan was the Jacks most consistent player last season and will likely be the league’s top outside shooter this season. Callahan was ninth in the league in scoring (16.1 per game) and fourth in 3-pointers (42).
4. Derick Nelson, (Sr.) Oakland — Nelson entered last season as a possible Summit League Player of the Year candidate before a broken foot forced him into a medical redshirt. A healthy Nelson will be a huge boost for Oakland. Nelson led the Grizzlies in scoring (17.3 per game) and rebounding (7.4) during the 2007-08 season.
5. Robert Glenn, (Sr.) IUPUI — The Wabash Valley transfer emerged as a star for the Jaguars in his first year with the team last season. He averaged 16.7 points and 6.1 rebounds during league play, and was third in the league in blocks (1.7).
6. Dominique Morrison, (Soph.) Oral Roberts — Morrison often deferred to Robert Jarvis and Marcus Lewis as a freshman last season, but now will have the green light as the Golden Eagles No. 1 option. He averaged 9.6 points and 3.2 rebounds a game as a freshman.
7. Alex Young, (Soph.) IUPUI — Young showed flashes of why IUPUI coach Ron Hunter compared him to former star George Hill, but was inconsistent and came off the bench for part of the season. With a year under his belt, Young should start to realize some of his potential.
8. Davis Baker, (Sr.) Southern Utah — The Thunderbirds will rely heavily on Baker, who was fifth in the league in scoring last season, averaging 17.6 per game. Baker is just one of five players back for Southern Utah this season.
9. Michael Tveidt, (Jr.) North Dakota State — Tveidt was often the fourth option for the Bison last season, behind the big three of Ben Woodside, Brett Winkelman and Mike Nelson. Tveidt still averaged 9.8 points per game and will be a much bigger part of the offense as NDSU’s only returning starter.
10. Anthony Cordova, (Jr.) South Dakota State — Cordova has the potential to be one of the league’s top big men after averaging 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last season. Cordova could be the key to whether or not the Jacks can contend for one of the league’s top three spots.
11. Deilvez Yearby, (Sr.) IPFW — Yearby was the Summit League sixth man of the year last season and provides the Mastodons with a solid inside presence on both ends of the floor. Yearby was eighth in the league in rebounding (6.3 per game) and second in blocks (1.8).

Next five (in no order): Spencer Johnson, UMKC; Clint Sargent, South Dakota State; Ceola Clark, Western Illinois; Kevin Ford, Oral Roberts; Larry Wright, Oakland.


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